Alpacas at Bothways Farm in Essex

Dean Burgess from Gloucester writes-

           I work at Bothways Farm in Essex .Here are the Alpacas that we have at the farm. I thought the GMG viewers would like to see something different in farm animals.As most may know Alpacas are from the South American region and are a cross between a camel and LLamas. Alpacas are herd animals and are used for their wool fibers.We have shaven these Alpacas and have sold the wool. I have seen these animals run very fast,just like a camel.The GMG viwers can see these Alpacas out in the front pasture as they drive by Bothways farm along Southern avenue in Essex.

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4 thoughts on “Alpacas at Bothways Farm in Essex

  1. Alpacas are wonderful animals. They are clean, quiet, and charming. They make an exotic sounding alarm call if a predator or stray dog comes near! They are more like aloof cats in temperament than dogs – if handled respectfully, they can be very friendly and interested in what the two-legged creatures (humans) are doing, but don’t really like to be touched, and prefer to interact on their own terms.

    Pairs of alpacas will protect chickens from foxes and other smaller predators, which they chase out of their pasture. In Australia, alpacas keep lambs from being attacked by dingos, a type of wild dog.

    The quality of the wool-type fiber varies from one alpaca to another. Some grow fleeces best suited for making rugs, or socks. Some grow fleeces that are as soft as cashmere, but much longer and with a soft luster like pearls. Most alpacas have fiber somewhere in between. The spotted female in this photo is no longer at Bothways, but she has an exceptionally fine and silky fleece.

    Alpacas don’t shed, so their wool must be shorn once a year, before warm weather arrives so they don’t get heat stress. Shearing is not at all unpleasant, but they do sometimes get impatient and wiggle around.

    Alpacas are in the camel family, but are NOT crosses with camels. They are a separate species. They are a domestic animal, so there are no alpacas ‘in the wild’. Their wild ancestor is the vicuna, which is the smallest species in the camel family, but alpacas have been domesticated for over 6,000 years.

    Many alpacas do have some llama crosses among their ancestors, and some llamas have some alpacas in their lineage – but they are separate species, and llamas are an average of three times the size of alpacas. Llamas are another domestic species. Their wild ancestor is the guanaco- the 4th camelid species of South America.

    We have had the honor of shearing the alpaca and sheep at Bothways Farm for many years,

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